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Compassion Education: STOP(S) Domestic Violence!

What ticks You off?? (me?) This: the following (statistics/World Values Survey) provoked this post (published 3/19/14 @ 4:04 p.m.):

“in 29 countries around the world, one-third or more of men say it can be acceptable for a husband to “beat his wife.” Perhaps more surprising: In 19 countries, one-third or more of women agree that a husband who beats his wife may be justified, at least some of the time.”

“The data come from polling performed from 2010 through 2014 for the World Values Survey — an extensive study of attitudes in almost 100 countries, conducted on an ongoing basis since 1981. The study is led by an international network of researchers based in Stockholm.”

“The cultural acceptance of spousal abuse can be so pervasive that in some countries, large majorities of women say it’s acceptable. In Rwanda, 96 percent of women say the practice can be justified, according to the World Values Survey. About two-thirds of women in India and South Africa feel the same way. The attitude is also held by large shares of women in countries across the religious and cultural spectra — China, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines and Uzbekistan, to cite a few.”

More than 1 in 4 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hand of a husband or intimate partner, the World Health Organization reported in 2013. In sub-Saharan Africa, the share is about 2 in 3, and in North America, it’s 1 in 5. Excerpted NPR: Alarming Number Of Women Think Spousal Abuse Is Sometimes OK

Poetry can be a reflection of values. The First Man/Husband, Adam, spoke this poem about the First Woman/Wife, Eve: Genesis 2:15-25:

Jehovah God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eʹden to cultivate it and to take care of it.16 Jehovah God also gave this command to the man: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction.17 But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die.”

18 Then Jehovah God said: “It is not good for the man to continue to be alone. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him.”19 Now Jehovah God had been forming from the ground every wild animal of the field and every flying creature of the heavens, and he began bringing them to the man to see what he would call each one; and whatever the man would call each living creature, that became its name.20 So the man named all the domestic animals and the flying creatures of the heavens and every wild animal of the field, but for man there was no helper as a complement of him. 21 So Jehovah God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and then closed up the flesh over its place. 22 And Jehovah God built the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman, and he brought her to the man.

23 Then the man said:

“This is at last bone of my bones

And flesh of my flesh.

This one will be called Woman,

Because from man she was taken.”

24 That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he will stick to*(remain with) his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 And both of them continued to be naked,the man and his wife; yet they were not ashamed.

Read this sweet/logical way of putting the male/female relationship into words:

Man and woman have always yearned to be together. This originated with God. Man and woman are designed to occupy dignified roles in God’s arrangement. (excerpted: Man and Woman–Made for Each Other)

However, this is what we see in many instances/relationships:

Today, however, families are breaking apart, and the relationship between man and woman is often abusive or governed by selfishness. A spirit of competition between the sexes has contributed to conflict and discord. All of this is contrary to God’s purpose for man and woman. Man was designed to fill a wonderful role on earth. Woman was to occupy a unique and worthy place at man’s side. They were to work together in harmony. (excerpted: Man and Woman–Made for Each Other)

A lack of love and a lack of respect…poison to relationships!..(which often leads to all kinds of abuses.)

When both men and women (are willing to) learn unselfishness and compassion…they (can) cultivate qualities within themselves (with (God’s) help) such as: (my highlights)

“They have learned to convey their thoughts and feelings to each other honestly, yet kindly, by cultivating and displaying insight, love, deep respect, and humility. When these fundamental qualities characterize a marriage, the lines of communication are always open.”

i enJOYed reading this practical/logical counsel for both male/female to treat each other in the manner they would like to be treated (or spoken to):

[…] likely you want to be treated with dignity and respect. You appreciate it when others listen to you and care about how you feel. But have you ever heard a person say, “I am going to do to him what he did to me”? Sometimes this reaction is understandable. However, the Bible tells us: “Do not say: ‘I will do to him just as he has done to me.’” (Proverbs 24:29) Jesus taught people the best way to handle difficult situations. What Jesus said is often called the Golden Rule: “Just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them.” (Luke 6:31) Jesus meant that we should treat people the way we would like to be treated, not the way they treat us. This means that we need to put into our marriage what we hope to get out of it.

15 Couples strengthen their relationship when they truly care about each other’s feelings. “We have tried to put the Golden Rule into practice,” says a husband in South Africa. “True, there are times when we’re upset, but we have worked hard to treat each other the way we would like to be treated—with respect and dignity.”

16 Do not reveal your mate’s weaknesses to others or keep complaining about traits that upset you, not even as a joke. Remember that marriage is not a competition to prove who is stronger, who can shout louder, or who can say something that hurts the most. True, all of us are imperfect and sometimes upset others. But there is never a good reason for a couple to make each other feel ashamed, to use hurtful words when speaking to each other or, worse, to push or hit each other.—Read Proverbs 17:27; 31:26.

17 In some cultures, men bully or hit their wives to prove that they are strong. But the Bible says: “The one slow to anger is better than a mighty man, and the one controlling his temper than one conquering a city.” (Proverbs 16:32) A person needs great inner strength to show self-control as did Jesus Christ, the greatest man who ever lived. A man who bullies or hits his wife is a weak man who will lose his relationship with Jehovah. The psalmist David, who was a strong and courageous man, said: “Be agitated, but do not sin. Have your say in your heart, upon your bed, and keep silent.”—Psalm 4:4. (Build a Strong & Happy Marriage w15 1/15 pp. 15-20)

Sadly, some have been educated to believe/practice that aggression/violence/abuse/dominance is strength. “A man who bullies or hits his wife is weak […]” (i’d say the same about a woman who bullies or hits is weak.) Boys and girls both need compassion education aka lessons/examples (worthy of imitation) of true love/agape, forgiveness and kindness, self-control in the home at an early age (and beyond)…for the culture of hate/violence/abuse to stop! All of us, young-old, male-female need to learn and appreciate the value of compassion!:)

PLEASE people, can’t we all show love and respect, forgiveness to each other every day?:) All of us, including myself very much, can improve…making more compassionate choices of speech and action. We may not agree or understand each other completely/fully…our thinking/belief system(s), vocabulary, etc…however, all beautiful-breathing-fragile-life on this beautiful planet deserves dignity, respect, love, education, patience, compassion.

(i was thinking/meditating about “humility”…a humble person isn’t insulting and doesn’t get insulted easily.) Taking ourselves a little less seriously…laughing it off helps, huh? (a value of mine: laughter & Chato makes me laugh!:)

A humble person is willing to see where they need to tweak/adjust, a humble person is willing to accept help…(in its various forms) and from whomever. (It takes courage, choice, compassion to accept change and/or take action and/or accept help.)

It’s so commendable/inspiring/(encouraging to me) when i learn/hear/see “positive” changes some have made in their lives that have benefitted themselves (and their families) tremendously: the following video caught my attention:

Am i Happy??

Published by:
Breathing-Fragile-Life change compassion healing Joan Winifred

Topsy Turvy World

Logic (simple science) & circumstance including trajectory (simple math) tell me: under no context whatsoever would we ever come together or be together or know each other…Divine (Yahweh) Intervention creates platform and context and compass and unity…absolutely!:)

****************************************

Divine compassion breaks all barriers.

When i choose to (unselfishly) Love You (Fellow-Beautiful-Breathing-Fragile-Life) and Forgive You (aka not making issues out of non-issues)…i’m breakin’ barriers. Barriers of communication. Barriers of peace. Barriers of Unity. People can change…their world. (i LOVE reading about positive changes in the lives of fellow-fragile-life…i find it inspiring/encouraging in my personal, daily fight for compassion.)

Life is full of compassion challenges and each of us has the power to choose….to choose kind/unselfishness!:)

Yet..It’s a Topsy Turvy World…is its end coming?? You know, will man”cruel” (aka those not pursuing peace) just kill one another off?…Read this recently:

When you hear the words “The end is near!” what comes to mind? Do you think of a wild-eyed preacher thundering from the pulpit and gesturing dramatically, Bible in hand? Or do you picture a bearded old man standing on a street corner, wearing a long robe tied at the waist with a rope, holding a sign bearing a doomsday message? Imagining such scenes may make some people feel concerned, while others may feel skeptical or even amused.

Some get sad when things come to an end…but, endings can often mean fresh starts, new beginnings, new journeys, new experiences, new learnings, new growth…Again, read this with much interest:

 WHAT THE END IS NOT

THE END IS NOT AN EPIC, FLAMING DESTRUCTION OF THE EARTH.

The Bible states: “[God] has established the earth on its foundations; it will not be moved from its place forever and ever.” (Psalm 104:5) That scripture and others assure us that God will neither destroy the earth nor allow it to be destroyed—ever!—Ecclesiastes 1:4; Isaiah 45:18.

THE END IS NOT A RANDOM, UNSCHEDULED EVENT.

The Bible reveals that the end is scheduled—God has set a specific time for it. We read: “Concerning that day or the hour nobody knows, neither the angels in heaven nor the Son, but the Father. Keep looking, keep awake, for you do not know when the appointed time is.” (Mark 13:32, 33) Clearly, God (“the Father”) has scheduled the exact “appointed time” when he will initiate the end.

THE END IS NOT TRIGGERED BY HUMANS OR BY DEBRIS HURTLING THROUGH SPACE.

What will bring about the end? Revelation 19:11 says: “I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse. And the one seated on it is called Faithful and True.” Verse 19 continues: “And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army.” (Revelation 19:11-21) Though much of the language here is symbolic, we can readily discern this much: God will send an army of angelic creatures to exterminate his enemies.

Who wouldn’t want the end of pain, misery, corrupt government or the end to their personal nightmare reality?…(doesn’t everybody want/need (and/or seek) relief of one sort or another or another? (Yep, getting repetitious;)

Check it out IF You choose…to read on: “What the End Is”…excerpted:

WHAT THE END IS

  • THE END OF FAILING HUMAN GOVERNMENTS.

The Bible explains: “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom [government] that will never be destroyed. And this kingdom will not be passed  on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it alone will stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44) As was stated earlier, in point 3, there will be an extermination of “the kings of the earth and their armies,” who will have “gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army.”—Revelation 19:19.

  • THE END OF WAR, VIOLENCE, AND INJUSTICE.

“[God] is bringing an end to wars throughout the earth.” (Psalm 46:9) “Only the upright will reside in the earth, and the blameless will remain in it. As for the wicked, they will be cut off from the earth, and the treacherous will be torn away from it.” (Proverbs 2:21, 22) “Look! I am making all things new.”—Revelation 21:4, 5.

  • THE END OF RELIGIONS THAT HAVE FAILED GOD AND HUMANS.

“The prophets prophesy lies, and the priests dominate by their own authority. . . . But what will you do when the end comes?” (Jeremiah 5:31) “Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’”—Matthew 7:21-23. (excerpts from Article: Is the End Near? W May 2015)

Life after…the end of: corruption, injustice, pain, misery, violence…A BEAUTIFUL Beginning; A Breakthrough; a New Leaf!:)

(published 2/23/15 @9:43a.m.)

Published by:
attitude Breathing-Fragile-Life change compassion conscientious-ness Fundamental Human Rights Joan Winifred peace

Anti-Torture Tactics

It’s super sad to become aware of any form of abuse (aka: wanton disrespect or crimes against compassion) toward fellow-breathing-fragile-life!:(

Torture–a terrible topic…1 on-line dictionary description: “torture”

: the act of causing severe physical pain as a form of punishment or as a way to force someone to do or say something

: something that causes mental or physical suffering : a very painful or unpleasant experience anguish of body or mind :  agony

:  the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure
Compassion–a terrific topic…1 on-line dictionary description: “compassion”
Compassion denotes a sympathetic awareness of another’s suffering or adversity combined with a desire to alleviate it. Like the warm rays of the bright sun, compassion can soothe a distressed life, lessen pain, and lift the spirits of an afflicted person.
Questions for Consideration: Do i/we live under a compassionate government? Am i/we pledging allegiance to a compassionate government? Am i/we ultimately supporting torture or compassion by our choices? (Am i/we promoting peace?)
Bad/non-compassionate government(s) can certainly break bones…literally…however, good/compassionate government can break bones while not breaking bones…
Because of the strong construction of bones, Proverbs 25:15 says concerning the power of patience and kind words to overcome stiff, firm opposition: “By patience a commander is won over, And a gentle/mild tongue can break a bone.” ~excerpt: Insight on Scriptures: Bones (Further related reading please see: Breaking (bad/hard) bones without breaking bones: it’s Silly Putty!
All of us have some power/influence over others…unloving the way some choose to coerce others into cooperation by means/methods of torture.  Current media events/times cause me to ask: (my choices (can) speak loudly): are my choices/words screaming: “Torture!” or ANTI-TORTURE!”  
Can’t we all employ anti-torture tactics: (my highlights)
Compassion has the power to maintain harmony and to contribute to the resolving of conflict or friction. It helps to clear up misunderstandings, and it paves the way for forgiveness. Misunderstandings may occur because we do not always express our thoughts or feelings as we wish we had, or our actions might be misinterpreted. Here compassion comes to the rescue and helps to preserve peace. It is easy to forgive a person who is known for being compassionate. Compassion helps us to measure up to Paul’s counsel: “Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another.”—Colossians 3:13.~excerpt: Become Tenderly Compassionate w 07
We are all traveling in (this) life…some of us are driving really broken-down cars with toxic emissions (aka: ways of thinking/living/doing that impede/hinder/slow down our compassion growth which endanger/hurt/kill ourselves and others)…
Whatcha driving??

  (a compassion car driving safe?) Going my way? GREAT!🙂
published 12/15/14 @ 12:05 p.m.
Published by:
Breathing-Fragile-Life change education Joan Winifred

Khmer Rouge: crying fields

{I found it a compassionate gesture of the court to allow the man who was unable to stand to remain seated. Perhaps, some would/will find their prison for life punishment compassionate in comparison to crimes against human dignity…i’m neutral on the topic of these two particular men…obviously, cannot read their/anybody’s hearts/minds; nor do i know what remorse-repentance/personal inner growth (aka compassion maturation) has occurred for them since the 70’s. Some of us humans are in  deplorable prison-like states/circumstances, etc. already and haven’t committed any crimes against humanity/animal world/dignity/compassion. Consequence (of choices) has a way of catching all of us sooner or later, eh?}

‘Is there any evidence that universal atheism would lead to a better world?’

Consider: As many as 1.7 million Cambodians died in the Khmer Rouge effort to establish a godless Marxist state.

And in the officially atheistic USSR, Joseph Stalin’s rule resulted in tens of millions of deaths. Granted, those atrocities cannot be directly attributed to atheism. But they do show that the rule of atheism does not ensure peace and harmony.

Few would deny that religion has caused much suffering. But is God at fault? No! He is no more at fault than a car manufacturer would be for an accident caused by a driver using a cell phone. Mankind’s suffering has many causes, one of which is more fundamental than beliefs.

Does the Bible identify any cause ?

The Bible identifies it as inherent imperfection. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) This sinful inclination tends to foster selfishness, undue pride, a desire for moral independence, and violence. (Genesis 8:21) It also causes people to rationalize and to gravitate toward beliefs that excuse wrongdoing.

Questions for Self-Examination:

Do I gravitate toward beliefs/ideas/media/books, etc. that excuse non-compassionate acts? And/or acts against fellow-fragile-breathing-life and their dignity?


Is evidence mounting throughout my life course that points to patterns of non-compassionate action or compassionate action on my part?

Would I ever want a global court to find me guilty of crimes against fellow-fragile-life??

 ‘No God’ means no accountability to a divine authority, as well as “no objective values which we are obligated to respect,” says law professor Phillip Johnson. Morality thus becomes relative, with each person determining his own standards—if he chooses to have any. No doubt such thinking makes atheism an appealing philosophy for some people.—Psalm 14:1. (excerpts from article: World Without Religion an Improvement?)

Without any compassionate/ethical or authoritative restraint/accountability/divine standards…what stops our back yard, our neighborhood, our community or our entire globe from becoming killing fields??!

COMPASSION EDUCATION IS NECESSARY For Survival… and must be ongoing!:)

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appreciation change Joan Winifred

Dawn & Dusk

Dawn and Dusk…

so similar…(hard to decipher?)

one takes you to

light

the

other

to

dark.

mix states…in between…adolescence of time

(dusk was quite beautiful here in FL…today, Sunday, June 8, 2014)

Daystar.

  • Similar in meaning to “morning star.” It is the last star to rise on the eastern horizon before the sun appears, thus heralding  the dawn of a new day.Re 22:16; 2Pe 1:19.

a New day awaits!:)

privilege

Published by:
Breathing-Fragile-Life change compassion education Fundamental Human Rights insights Joan Winifred love parenting prisoners sleep

Crying Babies, Crying Adults

In the middle of the night, a baby cries. Immediately, the mother wakes up. She does not sleep as soundly as she used to—not since her baby was born. She has learned to distinguish her infant’s different types of crying. Hence, she can often tell whether her newborn needs to be fed, cuddled, or otherwise tended to. But regardless of the reason for the baby’s crying, the mother responds. Her heart cannot let her ignore the needs of her child. ~excerpted cl chap: 25 pp. 250-259

Sleep deprivation… requisite of motherhood, parenthood, eh?  Subsisting and functioning with minimal sleep… does to the mind and body what starvation does… going without “enough” sleep is like going without “enough” food…at times–a state of intensity! Like anything else… it tapers off.

In this state of deprivation, one learns a set of coping/managing skills to function… you learn to accept, like and be satisfied with/without….living on snacks… snacks of sleep are like snacks of food.

Snacks of contentment!

You learn to be less picky… you eat what’s available… sleep, well…

I don’t need a bed, soft pillow, blanket for sleep or specific time, place… position.  Hard floor, chair, rock: no obstacles to my sleep; nothing compares to the needs of a helpless baby or caregiving of a sick or suicidal loved one!

l oughta know -lol :)…Mother of 4 born approx.. 2 years apart… tandem toddler(s) and newborn(s) nursing for 10 years… along with a cycling manic hubby…up all night!

(i like night…i like day…sleep/no sleep…states of time manipulation…each demanding/crying out in their specific way.)

Some new-inexperienced parents think… their baby “automatically” knows how and when to sleep.  Yep, I had no idea about the sleep struggles we would encounter.  Not just newborns and their specific eating needs keeping them awake… but “smart” babies, toddlers, kids, adults can’t always sleep… too much stimulus or not enough… thinking, learning brains don’t easily unwind/tire…sleeping disorders and temperature: body and room all contribute to sleeplessness.

Our newborn 10 pounder boy would nurse for an hour then sleep for an hour and would continue this around the clock for the first months… breast milk is easily digestible and he was a big, hungry, growing boy.

The bedtime routine… getting the kids to sleep (and at the same time)… ordeal lasted long!!…1st baby couldn’t sleep…2nd baby/kid slept no problem… best sleep skills. 3rd baby a girl… forget it… now 11 last one to fall asleep every night including last night… but, she has improved.

Hubby found that white noise and their own personal fans… blowing directly on their faces -lol… actually helped them get to/stay asleep.  They eventually… all learned how, where and when to sleep.

Parenting is a different experience for every parent… having extremely talkative, active, monkeys hanging from the ceiling… climbers/explorers and non-stop learners/creators…bouncing around literally every minute and producing/making stuff… artwork, messes from learning, etc… is a challenge to say the least! It’s exhausting;)… though, super thankful they are healthy and happy and can now fall asleep on their own!!

Learning “any” skill or say to fall asleep or learning contentment or positive coping of any kind… takes time and patience and perseverance! It’s just super sad to me that not everyone, every child has a loving, supportive environment in which to learn and grow…and acquire necessary living skills.

Young, old, male, female…babies/adults: we all are in a state of  learning and unlearning… something of need… it’s just not always obvious to others… that’s why we all need lots of encouragement and support in our personal journeys of growth as breathing-fragile-life…our cries must be heard and not ignored!

Most parents want the best for their kids. They want them to learn to make positive choices that don’t endanger or hurt themselves or others… to be happy and successful in their endeavors.

I’ve often wondered… which I want to research about Hitler’s Mom …i’m sure like most Mothers… rocking or holding her new baby for the first time and thinking about what kind of person this little person will become… loving this baby… you never want to think of the “possible” negative… you just have positive hopes and dreams/aspirations for your adorable baby!

Everybody is somebody’s kid.

I believe everyone has a fundamental right to learn and/or unlearn… to learn to live a more compassionate existence and unlearn selfishness… an opportunity for positive change... that’s why I totally believe in transformations of the mind/thinking and behaviors.

I totally believe in reaching out to so-called:

criminals, rapists, murderers, thieves, addicts…aka somebody’s kid cyring/acting out… you name the negative behavior… humans with loving help, support and compassion education can change/unlearn selfishness and damaging habits, thoughts and behaviors… and learn love!

“Love is known only from the actions it prompts.” ~Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.

Not everyone in jail should be there and not everyone on the outside is accountable-guilt-free. I know compassion education can produce true justice!

People readily recycle aka forgive/rename trash for a useful purpose… yet, they won’t recycle or retrain/forgive people… and why?!?

Just like for whatever “personal” reasons some take a long time to learn to sleep on their own. Some might take a long time to learn compassion… but they should be given the chance to choose and to learn how to choose better or well.

I enjoy reading about AMAZING transformations of compassion many are able to make with loving support, help, education.

For related context please read: Multi-Level-Learning Smart(s) Broad & Granular (aka Partners Rocky & Sandy)

Sadly, not every child has been or will be born to parents who could/will adequately demonstrate or exemplify love.

i LOVE that some prisoners are being treated with dignity and not just ill treated…

Helping Prisoners

Each day, inmates in U.S. correctional institutions write dozens of letters to the offices of Jehovah’s Witnesses, requesting spiritual help.

We respond to such requests, arranging for ministers in local congregations to visit and study the Bible with those in jails, prisons, state hospitals, youth facilities, and substance-abuse facilities.

The results have been encouraging. A man incarcerated in the state of Indiana, who had received a life sentence for first-degree murder, made positive changes in his personality […].

Regarding another inmate who has been held in a large correctional complex in California, the Witness who studied the Bible with him said: “I’ve seen where he’s come from and the progress he’s made. […]

Many inmates have embraced Bible truth, although knowing that because of this, their life could be endangered. For example, some of those who have broken off association with a gang had to be placed in isolation or moved to another facility to ensure their safety.

The life-changing power of the Bible is so outstanding that prison officials are impressed. Some have given certificates of appreciation and official volunteer awards to the Witnesses for their good work at correctional institutions.

Here’s another example i recently read:

Transforming Lives, One Prisoner at a Time

In Spain, 68 prisons receive visits from Jehovah’s Witnesses, and some 600 inmates study the Bible.

One of the Witnesses making such visits is Miguel, who spent 12 years behind bars before he became a Witness. Now he returns to prison each week. His reason? So that others can be helped to transform their lives just as he was.

Over the past eight years, Miguel has studied the Bible with many prisoners. “I feel good about helping inmates in my old prison,” he says. “It really makes me happy when I see their desire to escape from the world of crime.”

When Miguel was four, a drunk driver hit and killed his father. His widowed mother then had to work long hours to provide for the family.

Miguel and his older brother began to skip school and to steal from houses and break into cars. By the age of 12, Miguel was a petty criminal. At 15, he was making big money as a drug dealer. However, his costly heroin and cocaine addiction drove him to steal more and more. From the age of 16, he was repeatedly in and out of prison, and soon he became a hardened criminal. “I was convinced that I would either die in prison or die from an overdose,” Miguel says. “I felt like a fly in a spiderweb.”

But in 1994, one of Miguel’s friends asked a Witness to write a letter to Miguel, who was in prison at the time. From that letter, Miguel learned that God’s purpose is to restore Paradise to the earth. The writer encouraged Miguel to make changes in his life so that Miguel could enjoy the fulfillment of that promise. “His words touched my heart,” says Miguel. “That day everything changed for me, and I decided to study the Bible, though I knew it would not be at all easy.”

Miguel knew this because he was hooked on drugs and tobacco. Both were readily available. His cellmate offered him drugs every day. Miguel constantly prayed for strength to overcome his addiction, and finally he succeeded.

Three months later, Miguel began to share his beliefs with other prisoners. The following year, he was released and got baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He also planned to get married, but then a problem arose. A month before the wedding, a court sentenced Miguel to a further ten years in prison as a result of several pending cases. Nevertheless, after three and a half years, he was released because of good behavior. Finally, the marriage took place. Miguel has never returned to a life of crime.

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